The Rent Guidelines Board [RGB], a nine-member body that votes annually on rent increases for close to one million rent-stabilized apartments across the city, recommended increases for one and two year leases on Tuesday, kicking off months of negotiations after two consecutive years of rent freezes.

One-year leases could increase between one and three percent, according to the Board's recommendation. Two-year leases could increase between two and four percent.

The news came as a disappointment to stabilized tenants, who are advocating for a rent rollback. More than half of the city's rent stabilized tenants are rent burdened, according to a recent report from the NYU Furman Center, meaning they spend more than a third of their income on rent. Last month, a Manhattan Judge ruled that the RGB must take tenants' economic circumstances into account when determining rents.

"Salaries are not growing at the same pace as rent increases," said Queens resident Lesvia Mendez, defending the rent freeze trend in January.

Landlords said they were disappointed as well, pointing to RGB research that shows their operating costs increased more than six percent last year. (A 25 percent increase in fuel costs was blamed for the increase.) Earlier this month, landlords recommended four percent increases for one year leases and eight percent increases for two year leases.

Jack Freund is vice president of the Rent Stabilization Association [RSA], which represents 25,000 owners and managers of rent-stabilized properties city-wide. He told Gothamist Wednesday that the proposed increases are "totally inadequate," and described rent-stabilized tenants as a "very privileged group of renters."

In order to compensate, Freund predicted, landlords will increase rents for market-rate tenants. "If they [landlords] are lucky enough to get a vacancy, they will raise those rents disproportionately," he added.

Judith Goldiner, a tenant attorney with the Legal Aid Society, dismissed Freund's characterization of stabilized tenants as "just ridiculous." The way the rent laws are written, she said, landlords are rewarded for harassing tenants. Ten thousands apartments were deregulated in 2015. Of 20,000 evictions that year, 43 percent were from rent-stabilized apartments.

This week, ProPublica published an investigation on preferential rents in stabilized apartments. According to the outlet, about one third of stabilized tenants have rents that are set below the legal maximum, and can be raised to that maximum on any lease signing. Landlords are not subject to incremental increases on preferential rents, meaning many tenants are caught off-guard with hikes in the hundreds of dollars per month. The state rarely checks to make sure that the legal rents landlords submit are in compliance, meaning many exceed the legal maximum, ProPublica reports.

"The idea that we should feel bad for landlords who are reaping huge profits is just mind blowing to me," Goldiner said.

Tenants and advocates with the Rent Justice Coalition demanded a rent rollback on Tuesday: the exact inverse of the RSA's demanded increase, DNAInfo reports.

There will be several public hearings before the final RGB vote takes place, on June 27th. Any changes will impact lease renewals after October 1st of this year.